Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How Are YOU Dealing With The Recession?




I asked a number of people to write in and share with us how they are dealing with the recession.

As they say on Law and Order, these are their stories:

My investments have been affected, which I have taken out and waiting to see how the market goes. I have cut back going out to eat, take care of my car, which I'm sure will have to last a few more years before I can buy another one, paid off all my credit cards, shop on line, compare gas prices, but my biggest concern is health insurance but have found out if I pay cash for dentist and doctors visits can get at least a 40% discount.

Gift giving is another expense I'm not as generous with, and try to invest in things that will grow in value over time such as home improvements. I don't travel as much for pleasure and save those trips to see my family and friends. The economy is very precarious and don't see it improving soon so I haven't made any long term plans but keep an eye on any good enterprise opportunities to get involved with.

*

My children and I are estranged from their father and my husband because he lost his job and had to take one in another city and we can't sell our house.

*

I've stopped eating out unless I'm invited on a date. I've noticed my dates don't have to make reservations any longer. No waiting in line to get into even the most popular restaurants!

*

I tend to be rather prudent with my finances. As I live approximately 15 minutes from the city limits; I tend to do all my shopping, fill ups, out to dinner sort of things while I am still in town. I pay my bills online so there is not need for me to purchase stamps. At home I have a deep freezer and I buy meats and so forth in bulk size so that I do not have to make a lot of trips back to town. For that matter I do that with produce, dairy and paper goods as well. I may go shopping once every 2 months if I budget myself.

For entertainment, I tend to be creative with the computer and can while away the hours making things online.

I tend to be pretty self sufficient. I don't like malls and making unnecessary purchases. I save money in the bank. I don't use credit cards other than my debit.

The school district where I work has been absolutely wonderful to us. They stay in contact with us and if we have need of things, we all pitch in to help each other. We also do this with our students. I think there is a serious need for prudence in the way one lives. I am not saying that one should become a hermit but being reasonable with one's money saves a lot of heartache later. Since I tend to be a workaholic and so involved with my students, the extra money I make is put in savings for a *rainy* day so to speak. Anyways that is the way I am dealing with the recession. I hope others are faring well with it.

*

We were a two income family. Now my wife has been cut back to part time. I'm still employed but there've been two rounds of layoffs and I'm afraid I'll be next. We're both looking for new jobs but haven't been able to find any around here. We could look elsewhere (presuming there are jobs to be found) but then how would we sell our house? I'm praying I don't lose my job but the stress is getting to me and I'm in ill health to begin with. My kids keep asking for things and to do things. We're both getting tired of always having to say "no."

*

I'm taking money from my savings account to make ends meet. That money was supposed to go towards my retirement. Now I worry how I'll make it through my senior years!


I'm dealing with recession with depression ;-)





How I'm dealing with the recession... Hmm well...

I'm one of the lucky ones... so far. I still have my job.

I had an old 1991 Chevy Blazer that I kept around for hauling big items. I donated that to Kars4Kidz.
My wife was a teacher for children with special needs for 33 years. about 3 years ago she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and was forced to retire early, so we lost that income. She has a small pension because she couldn't finish her career.

I have a house in Washington Township, NJ, and a small vacation home in Florida. Somehow that makes me 'rich' according to Obama. I've been trying to sell the home in Florida, but to no avail because we are on the 'hairy edge' of our means and squeaking by. Oh yes, I also have a daughter in college.

We have recently given up on selling the home in Florida, and have decided to sell our house in NJ and move there permanently. My wife loves it there and I want to spend the time I have left with her to be the best it can be.

Like a lot of Americans, this recession has hit me hard in the property area. The ''American Dream'' about working hard, saving your money, and realizing some success, has vanished for me. Obama and Congress are claiming they 'inherited' this economic mess, but in reality, they are the ones that created it. Obama was a member of the same Congress, along with Pelosi and Reid, that has an approval rating of less than 15% and they have been making the policies for the past 4 years that have led to the economic meltdown we are currently in.

The policies of Barney Frank, chairman of the Senate Banking committee, put legislation through to force the banks to give loans to unqualified people in the name of ''fair housing.'' This economic crisis is the end result of those policies failing, and millions of hard working fiscally responsible Americans like my family are going down the tubes because of them. Now they are putting an impossible tax burden on my children to try and spend their way out of this mess by bailing out the same people that were given the bad loans in the first place by disguising it as the ''marginally affected.''

Obama won the election by shouting ''Change We Need.'' But he has done nothing to ease the crisis on Wall Street where so many, myself included, have invested our retirements through 401k's that are decimated now. I know it's only been like 55 days or so since he took office, but since then the economy has gone from terrible to worse.

The biggest reason I am so upset by the above is that this Congress thinks of me, the average American citizen, as a blithering idiot, not capable of understanding all the complexities of what they are crafting behind closed doors and not worthy of an explanation or the privilege of reading what they've crafted.

I am dealing with this recession with fear, loathing, a disdain for my government, and a small glimmer of hope that America will survive this attack on the values we fought for since its birth.

We'll see.

*

I'm cashing in my Savings Bonds.

*
I'm a musician but I'm basically unemployed because the bars can no longer afford to pay for our gigs.

*
I live in the UK and earn my living mainly through property investments and through writing, but also through investments in bonds and other investments.

My property investments have obviously been affected since the property values have gone down, however since they are long term investments it doesn't matter too much, and the letting market is very buoyant. Since the start of the recession and the lowering of interest rates the thing that has been most affected is my investment portfolio. This has gone down significantly in terms of the monthly interest added to my accounts.

The recession has made me stop and think, and has also made me more cautious in my spending, and will affect the way I make future investments.

However, the recession has given me a new dimension to my writing! They say every cloud has a silver lining - I would prefer gold, but silver will do for now!

*
Our family's idea of a vacation now is going out to a nice restaurant. We just can't afford to take the kids to Disney World as we had planned.

*
Movies only during matinees. Out to eat limited to lunch where they sell the same food in smaller portions for less.

*

I'm going to Officer Candidate School and into the Army. Guaranteed government paycheck and health care that i actually work for! Whoa. That should be Obama's plan to nationalize health care. Put everyone in the Army. I'm a genius.

We talk about issues like this and more weekdays at 5 PM New York time on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com

--

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnunn/3333834051/

8 comments:

drhope2be said...

Our family is in the construction business down here in sunny Florida. Jobs are scarce. I have been visiting the local churches to get some Free Food after the service. I also just recently learned to Dumpster Dive! Psst...I think its a depression now.

wolfchat said...

I get by in these hard times with humor, really, laughing at everyone who voted for obama and saying he was going to pay for your houses and get free gas, i laugh at all you who voted for a jr senator and thought he was the messiah, the teleprompter usurper president was your hope

now he is killing business, wanting to make veterans pay for their own healthcare even if they were wounded in battle, he talked about a transparancy government but the only thing transparent bout him is he is bailing out companies and unions who gave him money is that change?

he said he was going to go line item on every bill but then he says biden is going to do that is that the change u voted for

here is your change, look in the fountains at businesses the change you see at the bottom that u want to dive for because you cant feed your family that is your change

so get through the hard times by laughing at yourselves because i laugh at you

Anonymous said...

I am a freelance writer, and my work has been cut in half. My husband is in auto marketing and is afraid for what might come next. What do we do?
We’ve been living extremely modestly since 2001 (and we never lived high on the hog.)
I wake up every day and remind myself we have a house, food and health insurance.
I don’t open the financial statements. Too depressing.
We don’t vacation. Instead of going to Italy to celebrate our 10-year anniversary two years ago, we drove to the mountains and stayed at a cheap resort. That was our last big harrah.
When my car lease came due, I took my parent’s old minivan because it was free.
Vacation now means staying home for three weeks with my husband while our daughter goes to overnight camp, subsidized in past years by my way generous parents.
We don’t have cable TV.
We bundled our phone and Internet services to get a better rate.
We keep the heat low – and the air high.
Our water heater is set for 120 degrees.
I trade writing services for things I need when I can do it.
We hold off on any major purchases until they completely break down.
We pay cash and use debit cards – rarely do we use the credit card.

By Kimberly Lifton, Detroit

Anonymous said...

KIM LIFTON SAID:
I am a freelance writer, and my work has been cut in half. My husband is in auto marketing and is afraid for what might come next. What do we do?
We’ve been living extremely modestly since 2001 (and we never lived high on the hog.)
I wake up every day and remind myself we have a house, food and health insurance.
I don’t open the financial statements. Too depressing.
We don’t vacation. Instead of going to Italy to celebrate our 10-year anniversary two years ago, we drove to the mountains and stayed at a cheap resort. That was our last big harrah.
When my car lease came due, I took my parent’s old minivan because it was free.
Vacation now means staying home for three weeks with my husband while our daughter goes to overnight camp, subsidized in past years by my way generous parents.
We don’t have cable TV.
We bundled our phone and Internet services to get a better rate.
We keep the heat low – and the air high.
Our water heater is set for 120 degrees.
I trade writing services for things I need when I can do it.
We hold off on any major purchases until they completely break down.
We pay cash and use debit cards – rarely do we use the credit card.

Anonymous said...

I take issue with i believe comment 7. She seems to think that Obama shared much of the blame with the economy right now. Doesnt she realize that he has been in office a very short time with this economy already in place.
Yes he was part of the congress who voted for these actions. But who was it exactly who was in control at the time. The Deregulation which first began with Reagan and continuted with clinton played an important part in that. If they were still in effect many of the risky loans couldnt take place. No matter what democrats were pushing for equality. Instead of still putting blame which creates hate, let us just work together to find the best solutions to fix this mess. And change is beginning. But it can not be done over night lest we make more mistakes because we act to hastily. Frizzy163

Nancy bas mo 3agram said...

Dealing with the recession?
What recession? Just you know, no money to pay for your car, layed off, people losing homes, life's great. Honestly, do you need more?

nancy bas mo 3agram said...

Recession? Well, yeah, dealing with the recession is going to be hard, but with people not being able to cope with payments, losing jobs, and losing things that are important to them is going to be extremly difficult considering they spent years earning them. I personally, am starting over with my life, after 9 hard-working years, rebuilding my life, trying to get back on track instead of hoping that our economy is going to get better. On the other hand though Gary, were going to make it, our econmony falls and rises. Granted, some of those stats have been higher, some lower, we just happen to be lower.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I just sat down to write this and heard the doorbell ring, this was a young man of 35 who is trying with great struggle to keep his family in food and a roof over their heads. He had done some work in the yard last week and he was paid accordingly. He came back now because he has a bad cold and didn't have any cough medicine, He started a new factory job but must work 2 weeks on probation before he sees his first pay check. His shift is 11 pm to 11 AM , hE HAD WALKED TO WORK , ABOUT 3 MILES BECAUSE SOMEONE HAD STOLEN HIS BIKE.nOW IN SHELTERS WE ARE SEEING A CHANGING DYNAMIC--- fAMILIES ARE BEING FORECLOSED ON, AND IF THEY CAN'T FIND ROOM WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS THE END UP IN THE SHELTER.aS SOMEONE STATED ON HERE, WE HAVE TO REACH OUT AND MEET THE NEEDS WHERE WE CAN, GIVING LOVE AND SUPPORTIVE CARE. tHERE IS A SERVICE i JUST RECENTLY HEARD ABOUT aNGEL FOOD MINISTIES, CHECK IT OUT OR PASS THIS ON TO OTHERS, uNITED WAY IS ALSO A SOURCE FOR ASSISTANCE3 AND MANY CHURCHES AND SYNAGOGS RUN SOUP KITCHENS. tHE sALVATION ARMY IS LOCATED IN MOST CITIES, AND IS READY WILLING AND ABLE TO SERVE THE NEEDY. tHOSE WHO CAN CONTRIBUTE FOOD , CLOTHING OR HOUSEHOLD ITEMS OR MONEY, THIS ORGANIZATION IS A MUST FOR YOUR LIST FOR CHARITY. gOD bLESS US ALL AS WE STRUGGLE THRU jAMIE_38